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HOUSING: $12m for rural Maori

MEDIA RELEASE

Hon Tariana Turia

Co-Leader of the Maori Party

28 May 2009

HOUSING: $12m for rural Maori

Talks between the Maori Party and Housing Minister Phil Heatley have resulted in $12 million of new money being allocated over the next two years for housing in rural areas where there are significant numbers of Maori.

“These rural communities are in many ways the back-bone of Maori culture, of our marae and tribal life. Through investing in papakainga housing we’re also investing in the revitalisation of the people,” Tariana Turia said.

The $12 million will maintain key aspects of the Rural Housing Programme while the Housing Innovation Fund develops new approaches to assist iwi to develop housing for their people.

Research showed that the proportion of Maori who own their home has fallen from 61.4% in 1991 to 45.2% in 2006.

“We are pleased with the responsiveness of the Government as seen in the Maori Demonstration Partnerships project being undertaken by Housing NZ,” Mrs Turia said.

“The goal of this work is to partner with iwi and key stakeholders to enable the development of affordable Maori housing and sustainable communities – a goal we have been passionate advocates for.”

Employment or contractual opportunities might also exist for iwi or Maori groups when it comes to building or renovating the houses, Mrs Turia said.

“I’m looking forward to continuing talks with Mr Heatley on the detail of getting the best value from this money.”

The new money will see $7 million allocated in 2009/10 and $5 million in the following year.

The Maori Party looked forward to Maori benefiting from the boost of another $28 million, announced by the Housing Minister, for affordable housing initiatives.

ENDS

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